The heart of a rifle, including a Ruger 10/22, is its barrel. Having a top of the line barrel is very important if you want to have a top notch gun. In this article, we are here to help and guide you on the buying journey of buying a new custom barrel.
Comparison of the Best Ruger 10/22 Barrels
1. Volquartsen LR
2. Green Mountain
3. Er Shaw Target
4. Tactical Solutions SB-X
5. Beyers Ultralight
Barrel Characteristics and Important Info to Know
Rifle barrels contain spiraled cuts in the bore known as lands and grooves that make up rifling. The degree of the rifling is known as its twist rate and represents a complete revolution in its denominator. For example, a rifle with a 1 in 10″ twist means that the bullet makes a complete rotation for every 10 inches of barrel length or 2 complete rotations for a 20″ barrel.
This rate is based upon the projectile of the round in question. In that sense a 55 grain 223 bullet will remain stable in flight when fired through a barrel with a 1 in 12″ twist, whereas a longer bullet such as a 70 grain projectile might require a much tighter twist rate such as 1 in 7″. Most rifles chambered in 22 long rifle caliber are best suited for a 1 in 16″ twist.
Another important characteristic of a barrel is its outside diameter or profile. The act of firing a round causes the barrel to vibrate like a tuning fork and heat up rapidly. Rapid firing of a heavy caliber through a thin barrel will cause these harmonics to alter the strike of the round, while a thicker barrel will conduct less heat and less vibration.
The downside of using a heavy barrel is the excessive weight it gives the rifle. This factor makes most target rifles unsuitable for most hunting purposes if the rifle is to be carried for long distances.
Lastly, as silencers or sound suppressors are now legal in 43 states, another consideration to look for is a threaded muzzle to attach a silencer and reduce the rifle’s sound signature to make shooting safer and more pleasant. Most rim fire silencers in the United States are designed to be used with threads cut to ½ X28 TPI (threads per inch). For states that do not allow silencers, these happen to be the same thread patterns for the most common flash suppressors or muzzle brakes.
In summary, when looking for a Ruger 10/22 replacement barrel, the shooter wants a contour of no greater than 1”, with a twist of 1 in 16” and if a silencer or other muzzle device is to be used, muzzle threads of ½ X 28” and a weight to not exceed 3 lbs.
Reviews of the Best Ruger 10/22 Barrels
Below you will see the top 5 Ruger 1022 barrels currently available for purchase. They have been put into an easy to read table that makes it very simple to find the one you are looking for. Don’t worry, if you are one that needs a little more information about a specific model then you can view the section below where we review each one in depth.
For now, let’s take a look at the top 5 barrels!
When it comes to space age quality in a rifle barrel, Volquartsen wrote the book. For decades, this company has been at the cutting edge of providing custom upgrades to Ruger’s lines of 22 rim fire rifles and pistols. Their barrels are considered some of the best in the world
They make their barrels for the Ruger 10/22 and its bolt-action brother, the 77/22. They are perhaps the only manufacturer offering parts and upgrades for Ruger’s discontinued 10/22 that was briefly available in 22 Winchester Magnum Rim Fire.
Their barrel sleeves are constructed from either aluminum or space age carbon fiber with steel on either end to promote tension and rigidity. The barrels are threaded for use with a cantilever scope mount as opposed to mounting on the receiver. They do not offer a threaded barrel at this time but do offer a variant with a multi-purpose compensator.
ER Shaw offers high polished blue carbon steel and stainless steel heavy barrels that are cut with a Bentz chamber to ensure reliability as well as promote accuracy. These heavy contour barrels are available with fluting and most importantly have a threaded muzzle that will accept silencers, muzzle brakes and flash suppressors threaded ½ X28 TPI.
If these barrels have one drawback, aside from their relatively heavier weight, it is that they will not function with inexpensive ammunition like CCI Stinger or aluminum cased Blazer ammunition.
For a traditional carbon steel or stainless steel barrel, look no further than Green Mountain Replacement barrels. Green Mountain offers a Bentz chamber in their rifles.
These barrels are offered in either the standard .920” thick heavy barrel variety and fluting is available to reduce weight and increase cooling. The fluted barrels weigh in at 2.72 lbs. whereas the non-fluted versions weigh 3.25 lbs.The only downside to these barrels other than the heavier weight is that a threaded version is not available.
One of the downsides of mounting a suppressor or silencer to a firearm is that it can increase the overall length by as much as 8 inches, turning a lightweight and handy rifle like the Ruger 10/22 to a piece that becomes unwieldy. One solution is to decrease the length to less than 16” another is to use Tactical Solutions’ SB-X barrel.
The rifled portion of the SB-X measures 12.5”. An expansion chamber 4.25” long extends beyond the muzzle and has internal threads to accept and encapsulate a rim fire silencer as a protective shroud. Tactical Solutions offers these barrels for the standard Ruger 10/22 and its newest popular takedown model.
These barrels are made of an aluminum alloy with a steel liner in order to give the same contour as a heavyweight target barrel without the excessive weight of a full steel version. Byers claims that the 7075 aluminum billet is stronger than most barrel steels on the market and that their barrel dissipates heat better than steel.
In addition to the standard 22 long rifle caliber, Byers offers these barrels in 17 HMR for an easy caliber conversion. The manufacturer recommends a heavier bolt carrier and charging handle assembly to ensure reliability in the 17 HMR configurations.
The barrels are coated in Cerakote for a durable finish to resist surface wear and the muzzles are threaded ½ X28 TPI. Rifling is a standard 1 in 16” twist and the 22lr variants weigh less than 1 pound.
How to Install a 10/22 Barrel
Watch the video below to learn how to install a 1022 barrel on your Ruger rifle:
This article should help you find the right barrel that will work best for your needs as well as your guns needs. We rated the top 5 barrels currently on the market in 2018 so if you decide to choose any of the barrels we mentioned in this article then you can’t go wrong with your choice.
If you would like to customize your rifle even more with cool accessories then make sure to go check out our parts and accessories page. There you will find all kinds of cool stuff for your ruger.